Rats the Size of Small Children

On our second day of Brisbane training, I finally got to try vegemite. Let’s just say I prefer Tim Tams and leave it at that.


Our second day of training focused on action team planning to help the participants begin planning how they could put into place some of the strategies they’d learned the day before. They spent a lot of time brainstorming barriers to family engagement and then strategies for overcoming those barriers.


During the tea break, they added suggestions to our list of sightseeing options for our final afternoon in Brisbane.


They worked really hard throughout the day.


I think we went through a small forest of chart paper.


But our final reviews were worth it!


At the end of the day, our friend Mandy offered to drop us at the Queen Street Mall so we could get out of our room villa. We found some lovely arcades.


After we picked up a few souvenirs for our friends back home, we emerged to find it had become dark. The casino was lit up like it was the Emerald City.


We strolled through to see what it looked like on the inside, but kept our money for more shopping!


Having heard that the South Shore had some great restaurants, we walked across the river


And past the free public dance lessons in the park.


It was Latin dance night and the instructor had a fantastic Spanish accent.


We strolled over to Greystone for dinner and ordered a trio of dips, and a delicious platter with salami, sun-dried tomatoes, bread, pistachios, french bread, and basaltic vinaigrette. I also tried a south Australian Cabernet Merlot which was delicious.

Jenni and I made our way back to the cultural center to catch a bus back to Roberston Gardens.


Did I mention it’s pretty far out from the city? The bus we usually take only stops a couple of times on its way out, but it also only runs once an hour. We found out bus 120 also stopped at the QEII Hospital and ran much more frequently. Nobody told us it had about 50 stops before ours. It took a while.


Thankfully the bus driver pointed our stop out to us so we wouldn’t miss it.


We jumped off and began the half mile trek back to our villa. I was huffing it up the hill on the side closest to the road, Jenni was on the side by the fence. Most of the time, I concentrated on where I was walking. I didn’t want to trip on a sidewalk crack and sprain anything. However, at one point I looked up and glanced over at Jenni. That’s when I saw the giant rat stalking us along the top of the fence. At first I thought maybe it was a Tasmanian Devil, which freaked me out because I remembered their name meant ‘flesh lover”, but I realized it was brown and all of the Tasmanian Devils I’ve seen are black. It was as big as a 5 to 7-year-old child with a long skinny tale and big shiny teeth.

I tried not to panic and to encourage Jenni to pick up the pace. She kept asking why. I was trying to keep an eye on the giant rat and not tip him off that I had spotted him in case he realized I was on to him and tried to rush us. I was also trying to walk as quickly as possible without tripping over any cracks or reinjuring my ankle. Eventually I told Jenni to look over at the fence. As if he’d heard me the giant rat ducked down and hid from her. She took off running anyhow. When I reminded her I was injured and still recovering from my sprained ankle which slowed me down, she pointed out that Hudson needs his mother. My friends Mandy and Jeanette both think it was probably a possum, but if it was, it was the biggest, hungriest, ugliest possum that ever existed. I’m just glad we survived.





About isherri

I'm a family engagement expert who travels for work and for pleasure. In fact, I’m half hippy, half clown, latte sipping, brunch munching, MINI driving, rabid social media enthusiast.
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